Mark McDonald

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Archives for January, 2011


Who is your critical friend?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 31, 2011  |  Submit a Comment

I was at an executive steering committee last week as an observer.  The meeting reviewed the progress of individual projects and sought to resolve issues. All normal responsibilities.  However, this meeting had something unique about it, each project had a ‘critical friend’. A critical friend is a member of the committee who is assigned to [...]

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Category: Leadership Management     Tags: , ,

The Essential Advantage: a book review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 28, 2011  |  2 Comments

The Essential Advantage is a good business book, providing a different perspective on strategy, corporate development and business operations. The book ostensibly is about being capabilities driven organization, but in reality the book’s main theme is coherence rather than capabilities. Its central argument is that firms who are, in the author’s words, resolutely focused and [...]

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Category: 2011 Book Review Strategy     Tags: , , ,

CIO IT budgets are stable, so why is everyone so interested in the CIO?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 26, 2011  |  2 Comments

According to CIOs responding to this year and past Gartner CIO surveys, CIO IT budgets remain flat and below their 2008 historical high.  It will be sometime before CIO it budgets return to real growth. This creates a seeing paradox as IT suppliers project continued growth in the corporate IT market segment. So if budgets [...]

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Category: 2011 CIO     Tags: , ,

What does it mean to reimagine IT?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 24, 2011  |  3 Comments

Last week Gartner announced the results of Gartner’s 2011 CIO Survey and Agenda under the theme of reimagining IT. The idea behind this theme is that CIOs and IT leaders have an opportunity to use new business priorities and technologies to create value in new ways The idea of reimagination comes from entertainment industry which [...]

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Category: 2011 Leadership Re-imagine IT Strategic planning     Tags: , , , ,

Reimagine IT: the 2011 CIO Agenda

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 21, 2011  |  6 Comments

Its time to reimagine IT as business and technical changes require CIOs to answer new questions rather than just find new answers to old questions. That is what Dave Aron and myself found as we completed a worldwide CIO survey from September to December 2010. The survey includes responses from 2,014 CIOs representing more than [...]

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Category: 2011 Leadership Re-imagine IT Strategic planning Strategy     Tags: , , , , ,

What is your level of strategic inflammation?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 18, 2011  |  Submit a Comment

Strategic inflammation is the degree of operational disruption that comes from per suing new strategies that are largely the same as the old strategy. Inflammation is an appropriate term here as a source of inflammation comes from repeatedly doing the same thing in the same place. Strategic inflammation is one of the signs of weak [...]

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Category: 2011 Signs of weak management Strategy     Tags: , , ,

CIO Resolutions, what you may want to consider stopping.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 14, 2011  |  2 Comments

Most resolutions are affirmative statements that have an implied negative statement. I am going to lose weight, I am going to exercise more, etc.  In IT, there are a myriad of these things, as achieving new goals requires stopping things as well as starting them. Many of these things are attitudes and behaviors so I [...]

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Category: 2011 Leadership     Tags: , , ,

APEX technologies: they are not created equal, but they are equal to all others

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 12, 2011  |  Submit a Comment

The technology environment is becoming increasingly diverse, between new Internet based services, consumer devices, smart phones, new servers, new applications etc. Its natural to see these different technologies in a hierarchy with some at the bottom and others higher up the food chain. Every hierarchy has a top, an apex. For example, the lion is [...]

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Category: Technology     Tags: , ,

Committing to the resolutions CIOs should make in 2011.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 7, 2011  |  1 Comment

2011 Resolutions that CIOs may make but too often will break as everyone is overcome by events and day to day challenges.  In most years, this situation is regrettable but causes little harm.  When things change incrementally, there is little harm in carrying last year’s habits into the next year. However, according to CIOs, the [...]

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Category: 2011 Leadership     Tags: , , , ,

What are tech companies going to spend their $350 billion dollars in cash on?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 5, 2011  |  1 Comment

I was going to write about 10 CIO new years resolutions, that will come latter, but this thought rolled through as I was reading the paper. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. companies have accumulated a mountain of cash and look to invest it in 2011 — Big Firms Poised to Spend Again. That [...]

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Category: Personal Observation Technology     Tags: , ,